Where in the world have I been??

DUDE….I know, I know. Where have I been?? Well…I’m sorry guys. I know I kind of disappeared, for like, a whole month. My bad. Life just got really crazy, and blogging had to take a back seat. I really missed you guys though, and it appears I just can’t stay away!

However, I’ve decided to take it down a notch from now on. AKA I’m going to lower your expectations of my ability to blog everyday and always have amazing new recipes for you. It just ain’t gonna happen peeps. So instead, I am shooting for a weekly post, maybe a few random ones in between. That way I can keep you filled in on the going ons in my life, including the crossfit workouts, grad school craziness and healthy eating, without overloading myself and letting you all down. My life is just too crazy right now to post everyday, so deal! ūüôā

I will also still try to bring you awesome sauce recipes, but I have to tell you my eating habits have gotten VERY simple and frankly a bit boring lately…which is why it would be a yawn for the both of us for me to post my meals everyday….SO, I’m thinking a new recipe once a week or every few days is much more doable…so that’s what you can expect! Although, I may still let you down. That’s life.¬†

So, without making this the longest post in the history of posts, here’s what I’ve been up to lately!!

  • Crossfit, crossfit oh and more crossfit! I’ve been working on my oly lifts and strength through the outlaw program, and I’ve noticed BIG differences. I am now at the point where I feel comfortable adjusting the program and making it my own, to fit my needs and goals, so I’ll be following a modified version from now on.¬†

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  • Studying like a mad woman, owning Grad School like it’s my job! (It sort of IS my job, since I get my tuition paid for and all…)
  • Teaching those undergrad kids how to excel in life!
  • Writing a 30 page LIt Review-this one I JUST finished, man it feels good to have it done!
  • Dealing with the lame side affects of overtraining….because I’m not always so good at listening to my body ūüė¶ THEN coming up with a new training plan to PREVENT this from happening in the future!
  • Also dealing with stupid lower back pain that has been really frustrating, but I’m figuring it out. Lots of stretching, rotating between heat and ice, getting mad when I can’t finish a WOD, wanting to cry, then realizing I’m acting like a girl, sucking it up and figuring out a way to work around the pain. THEN I found 2POOD belts, and things are looking up! ūüôā

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For me, it looks like a metcon belt it necessary for my heavier lifts because I tend to over arch my back which equals major lower back pain. BUT the belt comes in HOT PINK, so it’s all good…Plus I look very hardcore wearing it ūüôā It also makes me feel safe and secure, and I think I’ll be able to lift heavier on my lifts now without the fear of hurting my back! Winning!

  • Working on my nutrition, especially my pre and post workout nutrition, to maximize my training results and give my body what it needs to dominate! This is why my meals have gotten boring as I mentioned earlier, I’m more focused on fueling my body for performance right now, so I eat a lot of the same things everyday. This is just what’s working for me right now. I find I do better when I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to eat because it’s already planned out. I’m following the KISS motto right now, Keep It Simple Stupid ūüôā¬†
  • Getting ready to leave for LAS VEGAS this coming weekend to finally get my crossfit certification!! SO PUMPED! I will definitely keep you guys filled in on how that goes!! ūüôā
  • Also getting ready for thanksgiving which is NEXT week…crazy!!¬†

Ok, well that’s pretty much what’s been happening with me lately. I promise not to be gone so long this time. Oh and I also promised a friend I would share my recipe for homemade marinara sauce and turkey meatballs…so I will try to post that soon!¬†

Homemade Chocolate Coconut Lara Bars

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Man, you gotta love rest days! This one was MUCH needed, since not only did I do Grace yesterday, but also finished my first week of adding Outlaw into my training along with my regular¬†WODs….yeah, resting felt good!

Although, this was still an ACTIVE rest day, filled with some baking, food prep, shopping and studying/class prep! I mean….who ever said Sundays were the day of rest CLEARLY didn’t have a crazy schedule…! I even got in a small run today! Nothing crazy, just 2 easy miles, but it felt great and I didn’t have any IT band pain!¬†Woot¬†woot!

So as I said i did some more baking today, I don’t know what’s up with me? I’ve got some sort of Betty¬†Crocker¬†bug I guess? Anyway, I’m actually struggling with what recipes to share with you guys first! I’ve experimented with a lot of different¬†paleo¬†goodies lately, and they are all SO good!

One thing I love when I have a crazy week ahead is knowing I’ve got some¬†Paleo¬†friendly snacks on hand to get my through the hectic day. Lately I’ve been mostly relying on apples with nut butter or my homemade Lara bars to give me the energy I need. Yes, I said homemade Lara bars! These things are NO JOKE better than the store bought version, plus they are WAY cheaper and BONUS, you will know that everything in them is healthy and fresh!

Another great thing about them, they can easily be varied to suite your taste! Now I know many blogs have a version of this, so I realize it’s not the most original thing in the world, but I have toyed around with some different recipes and I think I’ve come up with a pretty awesome recipe! These are really great as a¬†pre-workout snack or to keep in your bag if you are going to be on the move all day!

Homemade Chocolate Coconut Lara Bars:

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup nut of choice (I like almonds or cashews)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons nut butter of choice (I used almond butter, but sunflower butter would be great also)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/8 cup dark chocolate chips *Can substitute enjoy life chocolate chips if desired*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkle of salt

Directions:

  1. Throw all your ingredients into a food processor and blend until everything is finely chopped and combined.
  2. Dump the mixture onto some saran wrap and form into a square, about a 1/2-1 inch thick.
  3. Set in freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up, then cut into bars and serve!
  4. Store at room temperature in saran wrap or plastic baggies

* I like to double this recipe to make enough bars to get me through the week!

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Double Chocolate Cake Truffles

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Where to even start?! Today was SUCH an awesome day!! We celebrated our grand re-opening at our new gym and also did our Barbells for Boobs Fundraiser to support breast cancer! I did Grace for the first time and it was awesome! I went Rx(95 lb) and did the 30 Clean and Jerks in 3 minutes and 25 seconds. I decided that wasn’t too bad for my first time.

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I cannot say enough about how amazing the people at my gym are. The owners are such awesome examples and a huge inspiration to all of us. And EVERY single person at that gym is BOMB. ūüôā I just love them to pieces!

Sorry to get all emotional on you guys….so anyway, we also had a¬†PALEO¬†bake sale today at our grand re-opening and it was amazing! I couldn’t believe all the crazy awesome baked goods people brought! It’s so fun to see all the different things people make and getting to share our¬†paleo¬†love with others is even better!

I made quite a few things for the bake sale myself, and I will probably share those recipes with you! However, the recipe I really want to share with you today is one I made on a whim after I got home (because apparently I hadn’t already done enough baking? Plus I didn’t actually eat ANY of the baked goods today and realized that was ridiculous and I needed something a little sweet to end my day!) Anyway, it came out A-MAZING, so being the selfless girl I am……

Double Chocolate Paleo Cake Truffles

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or shavings *Can be replaced with enjoy life chocolate chips if desired

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons chilled coconut milk

Ingredients for Chocolate Coating:

  • *1 cup dark chocolate (I used 100% mixed with some 85%, but you could adjust this depending on how sweet you want it) *Can be replaced with enjoy life chocolate chips if desired
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut butter

Directions:

Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in two separate bowls.
  3. Using a mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The batter will become very thick.
  4. Press the batter into a greased 8X8 baking dish.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, until the cake is slightly springy.
  6. Let the cake cool and then crumble into pieces and mix together with the chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the oil, coca, and honey.
  2. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients well until there are no lumps.
  3. Add in the coconut milk and beat until the ganache is thick and smooth.
  4. Add in your chocolate chips, then combine the cake crumbles and the ganache.

Assembling the Truffles:

  1. Use a small scoop or spoon and form the dough into 1-1 1/2 inch balls
  2. Set the balls on a piece of parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up.
  3. While the cake balls are chilling, prepare your dipping sauce by melting your chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave on a lower (60%) power setting for about 3 minutes. Mix in your coconut butter until melted and combined.
  4. Once the cake balls are firm, dip the tops and sides in the chocolate, and place back on the parchment paper.
  5. Place the dipped cake balls back in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then take out and enjoy!
  6. Store leftover truffles in an air tight container at room temperature or in the fridge for a chilled treat!

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Spicy Habanero Chili

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This week has been crazy. You have no idea how glad I am that tomorrow is Friday! This week is the last week for some of the classes I teach at the university, which means I am working on getting all of their grades together as well as getting them ready for their finals. On top of that I have to prep for my next 9 week classes. AND I can’t forget about my own grad classes that I have to study for and my HUGE lit review paper I need to be working on. Oh and don’t forget that pesky little thesis… Needless to say, I am a *bit* stressed this week!

Thank goodness for¬†crossfit, I don’t know what I would do without it! There’s nothing like throwing around some heavy weights and pushing yourself to the limit to take your mind off of things! I am making some big gains lately and really focusing in on my weaknesses *snatches and squat cleans, I’m talking to you! It’s amazing to walk into that box everyday and know you are making yourself even better than yesterday!

So I realized today we are already into our SECOND week of October, how crazy is that?! I can’t even believe how fast time is going! In some ways this makes me nervous because I still have SO much to do this semester, but in other ways I am SUPER excited because this means I am getting closer to getting my¬†Crossfit¬†Certification!!! I am so pumped to finally be certified!!! I am having a blast interning as a coach at my box and can’t wait to be the “real deal” ūüôā

In other news I have a bit of a confession to make to you guys. I haven’t been as strict with my¬†paleo¬†eating as I should be. I have been having a few cheat meals and getting a little lax, and I am DEFINITELY noticing the difference. It’s not good. But we are all human, and it happens! So instead of beating myself up about it, I’m buckling down and I’ve written out a plan for myself that I plan to stick to. I realize I do much better if I have a solid plan that I can look at and hold myself accountable to. It doesn’t mean I can’t change it up every once in a while, but having a guideline to what I’m going to eat and when, will really help keep me in check. Even when your eating a healthy diet, you still have to be careful and make sure you are getting the right amounts of nutrients and¬†intaking¬†the right amount of calories! So I am planning to really listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry, stop before I get full, and most importantly, make sure I’m providing my body with the GOOD foods it needs and deserves! I may still have a cheat meal every once in a while, but I’m going to try to be really strict for awhile and see how I feel, then go from there!

Speaking of wonderful, delicious,¬†paleo¬†friendly food. Check out this awesome chili I made for dinner tonight! Fall to me means chili, and whenever it gets a bit chili outside, I want some chili inside my belly! ūüôā This particular chili is my own creation that came about from my husband wanting a spicier version of my normal chili and me wanting a bit more vegetables in the mix. And that’s how this chili was born! *Warning: This chili contains habaneros¬†which are a pretty HOT pepper, so if you don’t like things very spicy, you may want to omit them!

Spicy Habanero Chili:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb grass fed beef (I prefer leaner cuts)
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 green peppers chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalape√Īo, chopped
  • 3¬†habaneros, chopped(Be VERY careful handling these babies, they are spicy and you do NOT want to touch your skin after touching them, so make sure to WASH your hands after handling them!)
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 3-4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy!)
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 (14 oz) cans diced¬†tomatoes,¬†undrained
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine

Directions:

  1. Add the beef and chopped vegetables to a skillet over medium heat and cook until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Transfer cooked meat and vegetables to a large stock pot and add in all the seasoning and tomato paste.
  3. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to incorporate all the spices and tomato paste.
  4. Add in the diced tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil.
  5. Once the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to low and cover. Let the chili simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. After 1 hour, uncover the chili and let it cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve by itself, or over some spaghetti squash or sweet potatoes for a little more depth

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I thought the name of the wine I used in this recipe was pretty appropriate! ūüôā

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Crockpot Stuffed Peppers with Enchilada Sauce

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Sorry I haven’t posted for a few days. I’ve been a little busy, trying to help with the move to our new gym space, which is amazing by the way. I can definitely say I’m over painting for awhile…but man is that place looking sweet! I will post pics soon…

So today was a big day. Today I started OUTLAW! (if you don’t have nay idea what I’m talking about…you are lame….just kidding! It’s a crossfit thing) The link to the site is¬†HERE. Pretty much it’s a strength program that ties in with crossfit to help you work more on your olympic lifts, gymnastics skills and conditioning. It’s something many of the peeps who have made it to the GAMES use. Since that’s my ultimate goal, I decided to get on board!

Obviously I can’t say much since it was my first day, but what I can say is the first day was tough, but I’m loving it already! I really enjoy the extra time I am spending working on my lifting techniques and think this will also help me become a better coach! One downside to it, which a lot of people have noted already, is that it is pretty time consuming. I probably spent at least an hour plus on just this stuff today, and that’s aside from my normal WOD. Sometimes I’ve seen it take people 2 hours…so if you don’t have a lot of time, this isn’t the program for you!

But man am I sore already, and I like being sore…yeah I’m one of THOSE people…I’m also feeling more hungry…even more than normal.(Note this is in the one day i’ve done this, so it could be in my head HAHA However, the smart exercise scientist in me knows if I am increasing my work load, I’m going to need more fuel-healthy choices of course!)

So that brings me to tonight’s dinner. It’s a crockpot meal, which I love because hello, convenient! But, I was a bit lazy today and decided to use a recipe from my girl JB over at¬†PaleOMG¬†because I love her and she totally rocks. Plus I’ve had a lot of luck with her recipes in the past. So I decided to make her stuffed peppers with spanish sticky rice. They sounded fabulous, but in execution they came out a bit dry and lacking of flavor ūüė¶ This could have been my fault, but either way they were just OKAY. I did modify her recipe a bit, because I can’t help but throw in some extra spices here and there.¬†I also ended up making some homemade enchilada sauce to pour over them and BOOM, party in my mouth!!¬†Also, I didn’t love the spanish sticky rice, I actually prefer the¬†cuban rice¬†I made with my ropa vieja recipe.¬†Anyway, you should still make these because they are a nice convenient paleo friendly meal and if you make the sauce they will make you happy. And if that’s not a good enough reason then just make them because I said so.

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers 

Ingredients (For the peppers)

-2 lb beef of choice(I did 1lb ground beef and 1lb ground turkey)

-4 Bell Peppers

-1/3 head cauliflower

-1/2 yellow onion

-1 jalape√Īo

-2 garlic cloves

-1/2 cup beef broth

– 1 6 oz can tomato paste

-2 tablespoons garlic powder

-2 tablespoons onion powder

-3 teaspoons cumin

-1 teaspoon chili powder

-1/2 tsp cayenne

-1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce + extra sauce

Instructions:

  1. Pull out your handy dandy crockpot (lifesaver!) and your food processor (If you don’t have one of these yet, you should really get one. It has saved my life!!)
  2. Roughly chop your cauliflower, jalepeno, onion and garlic and throw into the food processor
  3. Pulse the food processor until everything is chopped to small pieces
  4. Next, add your cauliflower mixture to your meat and use your hands to blend it all together
  5. Add your tomato paste and spices and mix well
  6. Chop the tops off of your peppers and set aside. Clean out the inside of your pepper and set in your crockpot
  7. Stuff your peppers with your meat mixture, be generous!
  8. If there’s extra meat, stuff it in the crevices around the peppers
  9. Place the tops back on the peppers and pour your beef broth around the peppers.
  10. Set the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours ( I did mine on low for 7 hours and then high for the last hour and they turned out great. The peppers were nice and soft and easy to cut!)
  11. Serve with cuban cauliflower rice and enchilada sauce!

Enchilada Sauce (Add this to your cooked peppers for a bit more flavor!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp¬†chipotle chilis in adobo sauce¬†
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet to medium and add 2 tbsp coconut oil
  2. Add in your garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
  3. Add in all your other ingredients and bring to a boil
  4. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently
  5. Pour over cooked peppers!!

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Spinach and Tomato “Cream Cheese” Stuffed Pork Chops

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YOU GUYS….You are not gonna believe this recipe. It’s crazy good. It’s seriously amazing. You are going to love me so much after you try it. I mean, more than you already did of course. It’s going to blow your mind, rock your world, make you dance around the kitchen (oh wait, that was me!) and be VERY happy to be a paleo-eater! Although, even if you don’t eat paleo, which is cool, you can still enjoy this recipe!

I was originally going to make “soy” glazed pork chops for dinner, but, that just sounded so….BORING. And unoriginal. And after getting my minor injury today, I needed some GOOD food, ya know? I needed something that was going to do more than just satisfy my hunger needs. I wanted to eat something that, when I took a bite, would make me smile, sigh, and feel content with the world. Because sometimes, you just need that. So I racked my brain for what I could make, and I thought about a dish I made back before I ate paleo. I tried to think of how I could make it paleo friendly, then I just started throwing ingredients together, and this little beauty was born!

Even if you are trying to eat wholesome, healthy foods, you should still be able to enjoy it. I think that food, while its primary purpose is to be fuel for our bodies, can still be something enjoyable and lovely, as long as it’s done right. This dish does all of those things.

Spinach and Tomato “Cream Cheese” Stuffed Pork Chops

Part 1:

Ingredients (For Cashew “cream cheese”):

  • 1 and 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast(This is optional, but will give it a cheesier flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp arrow-root powder(For thickening, can omit if you don’t have it)
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Soak raw cashews in warm water for 30 minutes, then drain and rinse. Add to food processor
  2. Add all other ingredients and blend for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to incorporate all ingredients
  3. Refrigerate for up to a week(could possibly last longer, but I’ve never tested it), OR use immediately for the stuffed pork chops

Part 2:

Ingredients (For¬†Spinach and Tomato “Cream Cheese” Stuffed Pork Chops):

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (The ones in extra virgin olive oil work best for this recipe)
  • 1 9-10 oz box frozen spinach, thawed and water removed(squeeze in a towel)
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup cashew “cream cheese”
  • 3-4 center cut butterfly boneless pork chops
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat
  2. Add garlic and cook for 30 sec to 1 minute, just until fragrant
  3. Add in spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and cook until well combined, about 2 minutes
  4. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized bowl and add the cashew “cream cheese”. Mix all ingredients together.
  5. Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the pork, then add 1/4 the spinach and sun-dried tomato “cream cheese” mixture to one side of each pork chop. Fold the other side of the pork chop over the stuffing.
  6. Add another tbsp coconut oil to the skillet over medium heat and place the pork chops in the skillet.
  7. Cook about 4 minutes per side, until both sides are golden brown
  8. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the skillet, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the skillet with a lid and continue to cook the pork chops until the internal temperature reaches between 150-120 degrees F, or about 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your pork. I used my cooking thermometer to check that my pork was fully cooked, but you could also cut into it and make sure it’s no longer pink in the center.
  9. Serve alongside your favorite veggie, or eat alone!
  10. After you pick yourself up off the floor from excitement, tell me how much you liked it!

 

 

 

Kitchen Sink Egg Scramble

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Well good news or bad news first? I think it’s best to start with the bad news, then end on a happy note! So…bad news… my IT band, which I had pretty much forgotten about since I stopped running and started cross fitting months ago, decided to get mad at me again today. If you read my old blog, you will remember I have had major IT band problems for quite some time now, which caused me to give up long distance running. Once I started cross fit my IT band issues went away and I have been pain free for a few months.

Until today. I don’t know what I was thinking. Well, obviously I wasn’t thinking. Anyway, I was doing Curtis P’s with 95 lb (if you don’t know what that is, basically you do a clean, then do 2 lunges with the bar in a front rack position, then jerk the bar, this is one rep) because I was feeling strong and plus I wanted to work on my clean and jerks. Anyways, long story short, I found out my IT band REALLY doesn’t like it when I lunge with 95 lbs front racked… I ended up falling HARD on my butt in the middle of a lunge because my IT band freaked out and I had a really sharp unpleasant pain in the side of my leg ūüė¶ So it looks like I will be taking a trip to the chiropractor to get adjusted as well as the massage therapist to get a deep tissue massage on my IT band…hopefully ¬†that will help!!

The good news? Since I couldn’t do pretty much anything involving bending my legs, I had a chance to work on my hang clean and press (I made it to 125# for the clean and press and 135# for just the clean) as well as my muscle ups! I am starting to consistently get these which is awesome because it’s my goal to get multiple muscle ups in a row by the end of October! So there’s the silver lining ūüôā Gotta stay positive!

So I didn’t get to make my stuffed pork chops last night because I ended up going to dinner with my mom and sister(which was a fun time AND I’m very proud of myself because I was able to stay totally paleo!) so that means I don’t have that recipe for you yet. BUT, I did make a REALLY good egg scramble this morning using whatever I had on hand, so I’ll go ahead and share that instead! Don’t worry, I’ll still share the stuffed pork chops recipe with you all later!

Kitchen Sink Egg Scramble

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon(nitrate free)
  • 1/2 cup chopped brocoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped peppers(I used a mix of red, yellow and orange mini peppers)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Cook your bacon however you like, my favorite way is to cook a bunch ahead of time in the oven, 400 degrees for 15 minutes. That way I have some on hand for recipes throughout the week!
  2. Heat up your coconut oil in a skillet over medium low heat
  3. Add in your chopped vegetables and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes
  4. Chop up your bacon and add that in as well
  5. Whisk your eggs, coconut milk and spices in a bowl
  6. Add in your eggs to your cooked vegetables and bacon. Use your spatula to continually scrape the eggs around to create a scrambled effect.
  7. Top eggs with the sliced avocado and enjoy!

*This made enough for about 2-3 servings for me, depending on how hungry I’m feeling! ūüôā

*This would work well with any veggies you have on hand, and it’s fun to see what combinations you end up with!

Pelirroja’s Crockpot Ropa Vieja

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See what I did there? Yeah…I’m pretty clever sometimes. ūüôā Hush all you spanish speaking peeps, I don’t care if that’s not grammatically correct, it’s awesome!

So this morning was definitely one of those days where the alarm and me were NOT agreeing. It was telling me it’s time to wake up at 4:30am (a ridiculously unspeakable hour to be awake) and I was telling it that there’s no way I’m getting out of my nice comfy bed and it better shut it’s mouth! Well….the responsible adult in me (and the annoying alarm) won out and I dragged my self out of bed. Thank goodness for coffee…and homemade coconut milk creamer!

You know the great thing about getting up BEFORE the butt crack of dawn? I get to spend that time with some AMAZING peeps doing something I LOVE. It’s funny, but even though I fought with myself to get out of bed, the thing that finally convinced me to get up was reminding myself that I’m going to get to go help people change their lives, and that’s big. Crossfit isn’t just about doing some crazy WOD that leaves you gasping for air and sweating like crazy, it’s about building confidence in yourself, learning to love who you are and OWNING IT!

Speaking of owning it, I am proud to say I’m getting better at loving who I am and flaunting it. Take my red hair for example, when I was younger I would get teased about it all the time and I really hated it, because it made me different. Now, I have realized I LIKE being different, and I am proud to be a fiery redhead! ūüôā Speaking of fiery redheads…

Pelirroja’s Crockpot Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef Stew):

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb Chuck Roast
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red or yellow pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 5 ribs celery
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 2 cans tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce + 1 tbsp sauce
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice your peppers, onions and celery, and place in the bottom of your crockpot
  2. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and brown your roast on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Place your browned chuck roast on top of the vegetables in the crock pot. Cut small slivers in the meat and shove your garlic cloves in.
  4. Add all of your spices and the salt and pepper. Next add in your diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, chipotle with adobo, beef broth and wine.
  5. Place your bay leaves into the mix, but leave the tops sticking out so you can pull them out easily when the meal is cooked.
  6. Turn your slow cooker on “low” and cook for 8-10 hours, or cook on “high” for 4-6 hours
  7. When your ropa vieja is done, use a couple forks to shred the beef and mix everything together, then serve!

*This recipe pairs very well with Cauliflower rice, made cuban style! A great recipe for this can be found over at PaleOMG. That girl is stinkin’ awesome! I first got the idea to make ropa vieja from her site, but decided I wanted to do a more traditional version with a bit more kick to it, so I made up my own! I decided not to change anything about the cuban rice recipe since it’s my first time trying it, and it was so good I was eating it straight out of the skillet, but I may modify it in the future! ūüôā

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Buffalo Chicken Casserole

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Hey guys! Can you believe it’s October already?! Only a little over a month until I get to go to Las Vegas to get my Level 1 Crossfit Certification!!! So excited! The unfortunate part about it being October? It’s starting to get a little chilly, and I am NOT a fan. Silly Jenna, it’s not even that cold, you say. Well tell that to my poor fingers and toes that go all white and have no feeling in them ūüė¶ Clearly I was meant to live in a nice warm climate…(hint to the hubs).

So in other news, it’s Monday. Wait, you didn’t know…? Well I’m sorry to break the news to you but it is indeed the start to another week! I’m not a huge fan of mondays, because they are my longest day at school and I always feel like I have SO MUCH to get done for the week and well, because they are mondays… I’m thinking of proposing we just start our week on Tuesdays, that sounds like a much better idea to me! My monday was even less fantastic when I saw I had to do overhead squats today at crossfit. Overhead squats and I don’t have the best relationship, although we are finally on speaking terms now, so that’s an improvement.

You know what helps make my Monday blues go away? Well a shopping spree to Lululemon obviously, but I’m pretty sure that’s out of the question right now…so I’m going to settle for a spicy, creamy, ooey gooey buffalo chicken casserole. Yep, that’ll do the trick! ¬†And the best part? It’s totally Paleo! Boom, take that Monday!!

Buffalo Chicken Casserole: I’ve seen a couple paleo versions of this, but they all seemed to be lacking something, and didn’t quite have that gooey casserole feel, so I decided to make my own recipe! I will warn you, it is a BIT spicy, so if you can’t handle the heat¬†get out of the kitchen you may want to use less hot sauce! ūüôā

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 spaghetti squash(medium sized)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups coconut milk (I used light because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (Mine is gluten free, wheat free, dairy free and sugar free)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 5 tbsp Frank’s Hot sauce

Instructions:

1. Cook your spaghetti squash either in the oven (375 deg for 35-45 minutes) or in the microwave (on high for 10-15 min)

2. While that’s cooking, chop up your onion, celery and carrots and heat a skillet to medium heat with 1 tbsp coconut oil

3. Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

4. Add in the ground chicken and spices and cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Make sure to break up the chicken with a spoon.

5. While the veggies are cooking wisk together your egg, coconut milk and arrowroot powder in a medium bowl.

6. Add your milk mixture to the pan of veggies and bring to a soft boil. Let the mixture continue to simmer for a few minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon.

7. Turn off the heat and add in the nutritional yeast and hot sauce.

8. When your squash is cooked, scrape out the inside with a fork, to get the spaghetti like strands. Scrape the squash directly into a 9×13 in baking dish, making sure to spread the spaghetti squash evenly to cover the entire dish.

9. Pour your chicken mixture on top of the spaghetti squash.

10. Bake the casserole in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly.

11. Send me Lululemon gift cards as a thank you for making your monday!

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Weekly Menu Round-up for 10/1-10/7

Weekly Dinner Menu Round-up for 10/1-10/7:

Monday: Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Tuesday: Crock pot Cuban Beef and rice

Wednesday: Asian Pork chops with broccoli salad

Thursday: Spicy Stuffed Peppers with spanish rice

Friday: Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Saturday: Coconut chicken nuggets with Broccoli pancakes

Sunday: Eat out for date night!!

Well there you have it folks, my dinner plans for this week! Many of these recipes are inspired by some other awesome paleo peeps with a bit of a twist put on them by me! I will definitely show the link love if I post these recipes this week! I would love to be able to share them all with you, but we’ll just have to see how the week goes!

Also on the agenda this week? Lots of crossfit coach shadowing/assisting as well as getting ready to move to our new gym!! ūüôā Can’t wait to be in a bigger space! Oh and then there’s the whole graduate school thing…lots of studying/teaching/learning about to take place people!!